News World WHO issues global alert about wave of mystery hepatitis cases in children and teens
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WHO issues global alert about wave of mystery hepatitis cases in children and teens

Of the 169 cases identified so far, 17 children have required liver transplants. Photo: Getty
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The World Health Organisation is calling on authorities around the world to monitor a mysterious wave of acute hepatitis in children that has claimed at least one young life.

Some 169 cases of the condition had been reported as of April 21 in the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Israel, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, France, Romania and Belgium.

Of these 114 cases were in the UK alone.

The cases reported were in children aged from one month to 16 years, and 17 had required liver transplantation, it said.

It gave no details of the one recorded death that it said had been reported and did not say where it occurred.

The WHO said a common cold virus known as an adenovirus had been detected in at least 74 cases.

COVID connection?

COVID-19 infection was identified in 20 of those tested and 19 cases were detected with a COVID-19 and adenovirus co-infection, it said.

The WHO said it was closely monitoring the situation and working with UK health authorities, other member states and partners.

US health officials have sent out a country-wide alert warning doctors to be on the lookout for symptoms of pediatric hepatitis, possibly linked with a cold virus, as part of a wider probe into unexplained cases of severe liver inflammation in young children.

-with AAP